Preparation is a simple affair and cooking time is short. What takes time is marinating the chicken. It’s essential to give the meat time to soak up the flavors of the soy sauce and garlic it is mixed with. That said, you really ought to try this chicken, chicharo (Chinese snow peas) and quail eggs stir fry. So good!
If you’re a Filipino, you might know chicharo as sitsaro. Both refer to the same vegetable—Pisum sativum—which, in the English speaking world is alternative known as Chinese snow pea or common pea. Chicharo is the Spanish name; sitsaro is the Filipino (Tagalog, actually) adaptation.
Chicharo used to be Sam’s favorite non-leafy vegetable. She wanted it in everything—stir fries, soups, omelets…Today, she loves cauliflower. Back in 2006 when she was in her early teens, I cooked a chicken, chicharo and quail eggs stir fry and posted it here in the blog. By 2006 standards, I must have been satisfied with the photo but, after more than a decade, it made me feel embarrassed. Time for an upgrade with better photos and a simpler recipe.
I used one whole chicken breast for this recipe which I filleted myself. You don’t have to do that, of course, because you can buy filleted chicken breasts. But, me, I had a whole chicken, I used the thighs, legs, wings and backs for another dish and I was left with a breast that was large enough to cook a stir fry for three with.
To save time on the prep, marinate the chicken a day earlier and let it sit in the fridge overnight. You’ll get the best results that way. The following day, while boiling the quail eggs, string the chicharo, dice the bell pepper, cut the mushrooms and slice the onion. Then, start cooking by fry giving the chicken a quick fry. While waiting for the chicken to brown a little, mix your sauce. If you cook your stir fry in an organized manner, it’s fast and there’s no room for confusion.
Chicken, Chicharo (Chinese Snow Peas) and Quail Eggs Stir Fry
- 1 whole chicken breast, deboned or two breast fillets
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame seed oil
- 12 quail eggs
- 3 cups chicharo (Chinese snow peas)
- 1 small onion
- 1 large bell pepper
- 3 large button mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon rice wine
- 1/2 cup chicken bone broth
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 2 to 3 pinches salt
- 2 pinches black pepper
Cut the chicken meat into bite-size pieces, or smaller. Place in a bowl, add the soy sauce, garlic and sesame seed oil. Mix well. Cover and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least two hours (overnight is even better).
Place the quail eggs in a small pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook for five minutes. Scoop out and dump in bowl of cold water to cool.
While the quail eggs cook, string the chicharo, peel and thinly slice the onion, deseed and dice the bell pepper and cut the mushrooms into quarters.
Peel the quail eggs.
Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan until fine wisps of smoke float on the surface. Stir the chicken in the bowl in which it had been marinating. Spread the chicken evenly on the hot oil. Cook over high heat without disturbing for a minute or two. Flip the chicken pieces over and cook for another minute.
Meanwhile, while the chicken pieces cook, whisk together the rice wine, chicken broth, oyster sauce, sugar and corn starch in a bowl.
Scoop out the chicken and set aside.
In the remaining oil, stir fry the onion, chicharo, bell pepper and mushrooms with the salt and pepper for about 30 seconds.
Add the chicken to the vegetables and stir.
Stir the broth-starch solution once more before pouring it into the pan with the chicken and vegetables. Cook, stirring, until the sauce is thick and clear.
Give the stir fry a taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Optionally, drizzle in more sesame seed oil before serving.